The Alpe di Siusi Half Marathon, which takes place at Compaccio (Italy) on Sunday, July 2, offers visitors and participants alike a whole slew of side events. These include the Alpe di Siusi Running Week, a training camp designed specifically to get athletes to the start-line in top form. Also in the mix there’s the Alpe di Siusi Running Expo, which premieres next season’s technical kit and coincides with the half-marathon, and opens to the public for the first time.
The huge plateau towering above the charming villages of Castelrotto, Siusi, Fiè allo Sciliar and Tires al Catinaccio in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Dolomites plays host on July 2 next to the fifth edition of the Alpe di Siusi Half Marathon. Starting and finishing in Compaccio, the half marathon delivers the prescribed 21.097-kilometre route but with a 600-metre elevation change because the trail winds its way over the dirt roads and trails that traverse Europe’s largest plateau. Although far from an extreme challenge, the Alto Adige event is popular with athletes both wanting to improve their personal best and enjoy their passion for running in such spectacular surroundings. The 700 runners competing will, in fact, be surrounded by the most famous peaks in the Dolomites, including the Sassolungo and stunning Sciliar massif, as they negotiate the trails.
«Once again this year we decided to cap participant numbers at 700 to ensure we continue to give every competitor the attention they need and deserve,» comments Annelies Stifter, head of the organisation committee of the event. «We also see the event as an opportunity to highlight the beauty of a race surrounded by our mountains.»
The race winds its way across the Siusi plateau at an average altitude of 1,800 metres, where in the month of July the climate is ideal for a 20-kilometre-plus run. The organising committee has further extended the scope of the event also by offering a string of exclusive and very practical services to runners.
Targeted training: For anyone wanting to use the half marathon as an excuse to spend a few days’ holiday on Europe’s largest plateau and also to build up their confidence about the race route, there is a very special Training Camp available. Delivered by Egon Zuggal and Rudi Brunner, two specialist endurance sport trainers, the Alpe di Siusi Running Week begins on June 26 and delivers a week of targeted training, which can be adapted to suit the level of each individual participant. The week is split into several daily sections that span everything from functional and biomechanical analysis to meetings and practical outings on the race route. All in all, the programme alternates consultancy and lessons on the basics of running (technique, foot strike, coordination and breathing) and practical training sessions in the Alpe di Siusi Running Park. Expert runners more versed in the various training approaches can request performance diagnostics through lactic acid measurement, which helps tell athletes their anaerobic threshold and pinpoint their stress points. Participants can sign up for either the whole weeklong package (with the possibility of a cumulative entry to the Half Marathon) or to individual events, if they prefer to keep the week more open. Information here.
2018 preview: Last but not least, between July 1 and 3, a large, colourful shopping village will be set up to house the Alpe di Siusi Running Expo, a trade fair attended by over 50 brands that will be showcasing their new technical products to 160 sports stores from all over Italy. The event is also open to the public on its first day (July 1, 10.30 to 19.00). This is a new move to allow runners see next season’s ranges first hand and test them out on the trails of the Running Park Alpe di Siusi.